how to grow bell peppers


1)Start Seeds Early/Indoors. Bell Pepper seeds take a long time to grow and mature, so you need to start them either around early spring or late winter (about 6-8 weeks before the last frost), or indoors. You can start by getting seeds from any pepper and set them out to dry for a day or two, then you can sow them in a little pot or something similar. It is important to remember that not every seed will work. Make sure you have your garden soil and the garden bed ready for when you transplant them .

2)Keep It Warm. The soil works best if you keep a consistent temperature of roughly 80°F for seeds to germinate. If the soil permits, germination should occur within about 10 days.

3)True Leaves. Once seeds germinate and grow two to three true leaves (the first leaves look different than the actual leaves, but help the plant initiate photosynthesis), you’ll want to repot them in a bigger pot with new soil to provide enough space for new root growth.

4)Water properly. Keep the plants well-watered, but don’t let the soil get too wet and mushy. Bell peppers are extremely sensitive to heat, so if you live in a hot climate area, watering daily may be essential.
5) Getting Ready for Transplanting. Although you may want to transplant them as soon as they germinate, wait until a few weeks past the last frost date to transplant the pepper seedlings to your garden. Around a week before transplanting, put the peppers near a space where they can get accustomed to the outside weather, or they may not take at all. Plants that start will likely become stressed by the outdoor conditions, which we don’t want, if you don’t get them acclimated.

6)Transplanting. Before transplanting, make sure the soil temperature is warm enough (around 65°F). In the garden, make sure you space the peppers at least 18 inches apart for proper growing room, depending on the variety. Water newly planted peppers well and add a handful of organic mulch. The roots aren’t deep yet and need help maintaining moisture, which mulch will help with.

7)Overall Growth. Bell peppers need generally warm temperatures to thrive and grow. Keep the plants evenly watered, too moist or too dry soil will cause bad plant health or fruit development. They need full sun and rich soil that drains well with a pH level ideal for planting. If soil temperatures get too cold, the amount of growth will be small. Also, if it is too hot, the blossoms may fall off and fruit may not be produced.

8)Managing Pests and Diseases. Aphids, spider mites, stink bugs, flea beetles, and cutworms are your enemies in this battle. Spray them with a jet of water, oils, or squash them with your fingers. Over-watering can lead to root-related diseases that can cause permanent wilting to the plant.

9)Harvesting. Bell peppers are fairly easy vegetables to harvest. Make sure the pepper is large and the flesh is thick. The peppers will sweeten the longer they are on the plant, so harvest them when they are to your liking. To harvest, use a pair of garden scissors, or any scissors really, to snip the stem of the pepper as carefully as possible. You don’t want to knock off any other peppers or new flowers. Wash the peppers after harvesting, especially if you used a pesticide or oil.

10)Pruning. Pruning these plants isn’t too difficult. Pinch off flowers on a new plant until it reaches a height of about 2-3 feet to promote branch and stem growth. Once it reaches this height, try to prune off new growth in between the crotch of two branches.


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